Smoky Lentil & Walnut Bolognese with Crispy Roast Potatoes

This lovely bolognese has red lentils, toasted walnuts, mushrooms and smoky flavours – packing an Unami punch. Served with crispy potatoes – yum!

Smoky lentil & walnut bolognese with crispy roast potatoes

A new and pretty delicious bolognese recipe!

With red lentils, toasted walnuts, mushrooms and smokey flavours is packing an Unami punch.

Lovely and deep, it’s perfect served with crispy potatoes like I have here, but would be fab with pasta or even loaded on toast.

I drizzled with my favourite tahini dressing as I love it. I would also recommend some nut cheese or vegan cheese on top.

Some swap ideas…
You can use Puy lentils instead of red lentils (but simmer for about 10 minutes longer until tender).
No walnuts? You could use hazelnuts.
Veggies–Mushrooms work particularly well, but you can add in whatever you have–all good.

I hope you enjoy, much love. Niki xxx.

Smoky lentil & walnut bolognese with crispy roast potatoes

Smoky Lentil & Walnut Bolognese with Crispy Roast Potatoes

This lovely bolognese has red lentils, toasted walnuts, mushrooms and smoky flavours - packing an Unami punch. Served with crispy potatoes - yum!
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
2-4 servings
4.92 from 12 votes


For the roast potatoes

  • 750 g organic new potatoes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt

For the bolognese

  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic sliced
  • 200 g mushrooms finely chopped
  • 1 red peppers chopped
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds or ground
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1.5 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 75 g walnuts toasted
  • 1 carrot roughly chopped
  • 4 sundried tomatoes chopped finely
  • 1 can of tomatoes
  • 100 g dried red spilt lentils rinsed
  • 500 ml water
  • 1 tsp harissa paste
  • 1 tbsp tamari or soy
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • Twist black pepper

For the tahini dressing

  • Juice 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 50 ml water
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 sea salt
  • Twist black pepper

For the toppings

  • Fresh thyme
  • Sea salt
  • Olive oil


To roast the potatoes

  • Pre heat your oven to 180c.
  • Add the potatoes to a roasting tray (I cut some of the larger ones in half) then toss to coat them on olive oil, garlic powder & salt. Roast for approx 50- 60 minutes until crispy on the outside.

To make the bolognese

  • Add the olive oil & onion to a large pan and heat to a medium heat. Fry for approx 8-10 minutes until soft and browning.
  • Add in the garlic, spices and stir for another few minutes, then add in the chopped mushrooms and red peppers and fry for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the walnuts to a pan and fry toast until lightly toasted. Allow to cool a little, then add them along with the carrots and sun-dried tomatoes to a food processor and blitz to a chunky crumb.
  • Add the walnut mix to the pan, along with the tomatoes, lentils, water, harissa, balsamic and tamari.
  • Simmer for 25 minutes.
  • Season with salt, pepper

To make the tahini dressing

  • Add all the ingredients to a jar and mix to combine.

More Recipes with Lentils, Walnuts, Mushrooms or Potatoes

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My top 10 healthy and light vegan dinners

40 Responses

  1. 5 stars
    Made this tonight and it was delicious! I added some tomato puree too. Another fantastic recipe, I’ll definitely make this again.

  2. 5 stars
    Made this today for the second time. I decided to make a lasagne with this ragu. The texture is mi Ely with walnuts and the taste is Devine. This is my go to ragu sauce. Thank you for the recipe. I think I will invest in your recipe book

  3. 5 stars
    Made this tonight and it was another big hit! Your smoky bolognese flavours completely replace the need to add meat, so delicious. Thanks for making my journey into being more vegan delicious and surprisingly easy!

  4. Hi! This looks delicious but I have a family member who doesn’t like “smoky” things. Can I leave out the smoked paprika? What would you recommend instead if anything? Thanks!

  5. 5 stars
    Third was such a deep flavoursome meal, thank you. The tastes lingers long after you have eaten. I added about 250 gsm of Roy’s mince which added to the rich flavours and made it go further. The tahini sauce was a hit and I added some Dijon mustard and a tsp of chilli sauce. The potatoes I cubed, parboilec and fried in olive oil adding smokey paprika and cu in seeds, very cripy;) thanks again, plentl left over for lunches next week!


  6. 5 stars
    Loved this recipe – whole family ate it as bolognese on top of pasta. I might not pulse the mushrooms so much next time as it ended up blending too much in the sauce and I would like a bit more chunks but it was a definite keeper. Thank you!

  7. 5 stars
    I had all these ingredients at the bottom of the fridge, ( including the walnuts)and I must say, it went down a storm! The flavours are Spanish and the potatoes like patatas bravas-really, really delicious. Next time, I might use the bolognese to make a lasagne ( I have some red lentil dried ‘lasagne’ sheets).

    What I especially like about this fish is how nutritious it is, omega 3’s from the walnuts and complete proteins-FAB!

  8. 5 stars
    Hi Niki, I just made the bolognese and used it to stuff some aubergines. It was delicious! I’ll have the leftovers with pasta tomorrow. Thank you for all the ideas 🙂

  9. Looks delicious! Could I leave out the harissa, or is there a nonspicy substitute for my 2yo (who doesn’t like spice)? Thank you!

  10. How big are your cans of tomatoes? They come in different sizes in the US and I’m wondering what size to use. Thanks!

      1. Hi Niki. Another American here. Wondering if the tin of tomatoes are whole, diced, pureed, crushed? We have a lot of choices here and want to check first. Thank you!

        1. Wow, have just stumbled across your web site and have just made this recipe,with a few substitutions, due to what I had on hand. Such a flavoursome dish!

          Didn’t have mushrooms, so used an extra carrot. Didn’t have sundried tomatos, so used tom paste, used harissa powder instead of paste. Did put a tbsp of mushroom sauce to hopefully add the extra flavour mushrooms would have added! Look forward to trying more of your recipes!

      1. we love this in our house. I have trialled roasting the red pepper capsicum first to see if it adds more flavour. Hopefully just as good if not better!

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